Bright start for the British

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BRITAIN'S tennis players shone brighter than the opening-day weather at Wimbledon yesterday, with three men and one woman succeeding in securing places in the second round.

Andrew Foster, who reached the last 16 of the men's singles last year but has since skidded right down the rankings to No 215 in the world, cheered the All England Club crowd by rising to the occasion and defeating his French opponent, Guillaume Raoux, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. It was an inspired effort from the 21-year-old, who has not won a match on the men's tour this year.

With Chris Wilkinson beating Omar Camporese 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, it was as well for his reputation as Britain's No 1 that Jeremy Bates saw off another Italian, Gianluca Pozzi, 7-5, 6-4, 6-1.

Shirli-Ann Siddall provided the lone home success in the women's singles, edging to a nervy victory over Germany's Christina Singer, but it would have been asking a lot of Clare Taylor to follow her into the second round. Taylor had the daunting prospect of playing on Centre Court as the first opponent for Martina Navratilova in the American's final assault on the Wimbledon title she has won nine times. On a day when no seeded players lost, Navratilova, the women's No 4, went through 6-2, 6-3.

The summer ritual, page 3

Tips from the tea team, page 16

Wimbledon reports, pages 35, 36

(Photograph omitted)